Merrin wants to earn Origin call-up - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Merrin wants to earn Origin call-up

Ben Horne 09/05/2011 04:39:08 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra prop Trent Merrin says he's glad he didn't receive a surprise call-up to the Australian Test side, because he's determined to make his NSW Origin debut the hard way.

Merrin was talked up as a bolter for the Kangaroos' clash with New Zealand last Friday night, receiving heavy support from former greats like Steve Roach, who described him as a cross between Glenn Lazarus and Shane Webcke.

Queensland coach Mal Meninga was one to question the reasoning behind throwing Merrin a green and gold jersey out of the blue, and the Dragons front rower agreed that he himself didn't feel deserving of the accolade.

In the end, the 21-year-old was picked as an interchange player for Country and preferred the audition he gave for Origin football by playing in Albury on Friday and backing up for the Dragons on Sunday.

"I just put that behind me, I knew that was a massive call for the papers to write me up like that, but I knew I had to do my job for Country and that's where I wanted to start," Merrin said.

"I wouldn't have felt good in myself if I just jumped into an Aussie jersey because I knew I didn't deserve it or work hard for it so to make my debut for Country was unreal and I'd rather do it the hard way and work my way up."

Merrin might have been worried about jumping the queue for Australia, but the hard-working front rower believes he's ready for a Blues call-up.

The Wollongong local is in a dog-fight with a bunch of other candidates including Kade Snowden, Aiden Tolman, Tim Mannah, Keith Galloway and Dragons teammates Dan Hunt and Michael Weyman.

"I hope so, I hope I get a chance to wear the sky blue jersey, but if it doesn't come this year I know I'll work my butt off to try and get it next year or the year on," he said.

"Hopefully, knock on wood, I've got a long career in the game so I just want to work hard and work as hard as possible to get one of those jerseys.

"There were butterflies going into the (City Country) knowing that was a trial for the Origin and I knew I had to perform on the field.

"The speed of the game was ridiculous and you can tell on the field that everyone was playing for spots so it was a great game and I took a lot out of it."

The Dragons said they expected more news on their long injury list, including scan results on centre Mark Gasnier's ankle, on Tuesday.

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